tv [untitled] February 19, 2012 6:00pm-6:30pm EST
under a setting sun, the tracking ship "rose knot" waits and follows his track to the coast of africa. he follows the path of earth below. beyond human sight, friendship 7 make as slow boat out of the sun as the spacecraft girdles the earth every 90 minutes, like a shooting star at five mile as second, 17,500 miles an hour, john glenn streaks away from today into the night of tomorrow racing towards the dawn of yesterday. as glenn sights the sights of perth and flashes over australia and across the pacific to contact waiting ground stations in wymas, mexico and california waits as friendship 7 streaks home to the land of its origin.
an unseen comet lining across the united states in eight lightning minutes of flight. completing three history-making circuits of the globe, john glenn fires retro rockets so to slow the spacecraft. to direct it back to earth. >> five, four, three, two, one. >> roger. retros are firing. are they ever. it feels like i'm going back toward hawaii. >> then the first ominous note. the first warning of possible disaster. a chilling signal flashes an indication that the capsule's heat shield may be loose. the astronaut might perish like an earth-bound meteor in the 3,000 degrees of re-entry heat without the heat shield. strapped over it, the retro pack might hold it in place. cape canaveral makes the decision.
>> this is tech, friendship 7, we are recommending that you leave the retro package on for the entire reentry. >> as the world listens and stands still and helplessly hopes, cape control uses flightby for re-entry. john glenn rides his craft through the curbing globe beneath. science, in its amazing exactness, selects the receive friendship 7 as it blazes into the earth's atmosphere. >> friendship 7. a real fireball outside. >> the fiberglass surface of the heat shield is starting to melt and vaporize as the wake extremes back to block off communication. as the earth's atmosphere slows
the capsuleal's deseptember. descent. >> friendship 7. it's out. >> coming down. snorkels are open. >> on green. chute is out and recondition. and beautiful chute. chute looks good! rate of descent gone to 4-2 feet poor second. the chute looks very good. >> hello, mercury recovery, this is friendship 7. do you read me? >> 3-2-7, be advised -- >> roger. what is the estimate on recovery time? >> estimate pick up at 2-0 minutes. over. >> friendship 7, ready for impact. almost down. here we go.
>> friendship 7, hold in the water. what is your condition? >> roger. my condition okay. does the capsule look like it's okay? over. >> capsule looks good from here. over. >> home to earth comes the voyager. transported now to the aircraft carrier "randolph" in four hours and 56 minutes, john glenn has streaked through three days and three nights and over 81,000 miles. never a journey so far. never a traveler so welcomed by the world. so brief a journey in time, so
far the way. so long the hours for those who wait. as annie glenn has waited. as all the world has waited. to salute the glenns with vice president lyndon johnson. as the president of the united states arrives at cape canaveral, to be greeted with john and annie glenn. by the cheers of thrilled lines of proud americans. in ceremonies at mercury control nt kennedy presents the nat distinguished service medal to astronaut john glenn. as annie and lynn and david glenn proudly share applause with the other astronauts, and with the world. as john's parents learn firsthand about friendship 7, as does marine corps commandant
general david m. shoop and the president of the united states. and this rainy day in washington is a happy day as the president and the astronaut arrive. to drive through rain-washed crowd-flooded streets for a reception at the white house as john and annie glenn with vice president lyndon johnson greet distinguished guests, including astronaut alan shepard. godspeed, john glenn. godspeed into the future. into even greater accomplishment. into the hearts of all americans. welcome to washington. welcome back to this planet. champions [ cheers and applause ]hampions [ cheers and applause ]ampions [ cheers and applause ]mpions [ cheers and applause ]pions [ cheers and applause ]ions [ cheers and applause ]ons [ cheers and applause ]ns [ cheers and applause ]s [ cheers and applause ] [ cheers and applause ] [ cheers]
>> from the nation's capital to the towers of manhattan, to the ticker tape parade of new york, cheering crowds roar a mighty welcome shared by all americans, by free people everywhere. and across the land, the scene is the same and the heart is the same, as john glenn comes home to new concord, ohio. at the capitol, there is an introduction by the speaker of the house. the honorable john mccormick. >> members of the congress, it is a privilege and i deem a high honor to present to you a brave and courageous american. a hero in world war ii and in the korean conflict, who recently in the most notable
manner, added glory and prestige to our country, the first united states astronaut to have achieved orbital flight, lieutenant colonel john h. glenn, united states marine corps. [ applause ] >> mr. speaker, mr. president, members of the congress, i am only too aware of the tremendous honor that's being shown us at this joint meeting of the congress today. this has been a great experience for all of us on the program and for all americans, i guess, too.
i'm certainly glad to see that pride in our country and its accomplishments are not a thing of the past. [ applause ] i know i still get a real hard to define feeling down inside when the flag goes by, and i know all of you do, too. [ applause ] the launch itself was conducted openly and with the news media representatives from around the world in attendance. this is certainly in sharp contrast with similar programs conducted elsewhere in the world and elevates the peaceful intent of our program. today, i know i seem to be standing alone on this great platform. just as i seem to be alone in the cockpit of the friendship 7 spacecraft. but i'm not. they were with me then and with me now. thousands of americans and many hundreds of citizens of many
countries around the world who contributed to this truly international undertaking voluntarily. and in a spirit of cooperation and understanding. we are all proud to have been privileged to be part of the effort. to represent our country as we have. as our knowledge of this universe in which we live increases, may god grant us the wisdom and guidance to use it wisely. thank you. [ applause ] >> and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea. in the pattern of all of our free american traditions, john glenn's trail blazing venture into space has shown the way for human progress. for brotherhood around the world. his story speaks of people and places and industry, of the greatness that is america. it sings of the unselfish aims
of a nation striving constantly for peace. directing all its power trord t toward the preservation of freedom. in the majesty of greatness, this story is his story. it soars with the american spirit everywhere. across the vast-spread land in all of its towns and cities, on all its far-flung farms and ranches. deep in the forests and plains of winding roads and rivers, majestic mountains and lakes and sea-lashed shores, people turned their eyes and hearts towards the high sky sending their hopes and prayers riding through space with john glenn in friendship 7.
next, a ceremony honoring former astronauts john glenn, michael collins, neil armstrong and buzz aldrin. you will hear from speaker of the house and senator harry reid john boehner as well as neil armstrong and john glenn during this hour-long event held in the u.s. capitol rotunda. ladies and gentlemen, the chairman of the united states senate, subcommittee on science and space and the senior senator from the state of florida, the honorable bill nelson. ladies and gentlemen, it said in the psalms written by david as he peered up into the heavens, the heavens declare the glory of
god. the ferment showeth his handy work. these adventurers have touched fi firmament. you think of the congressional gold medal. it has only been awarded to 100. and of those in aviation and space first think of the wright brothers, charles lindbergh, dr. robert godard, the father of modern rocketry, and now, today's honorees. and i dare say that in future years, we will be giving this same ceremony and gold medal to
the first crew that will land on the planet mars. ladies and gentlemen, the dream is alive. as a matter of fact, it's a part of us. it's our character as the american people to be adventurers and explorers. and we won't ever give that dream up. indeed, in the honoring of these astronauts, we foretell the future, the greatness, the discovery, the expressing of ourselves as a people. pioneers, adventurers and explorers. ladies and gentlemen, the dream is alive. [ applause ]
>> ladies and gentlemen, the ranking member of the united states senate committee on commerce, science and transportation and the senior senator from the state of texas, the honorable kay bailey hutchison. >> we are honoring four brave, determined, resilient men. they and the astronauts who followed took enormous personal risks for our country to venture beyond earth's orbit. their missions achieved as well as the dangers of not reaching for the stars. america urgently needs to continue our preeminence in manned space exploration. from senator glenn's flight on
friendship 7 to astronauts armstrong, collins and aldrin's our recent space shuttle program to the space station, we know that space exploration is a step-by-step process. it will require leadership to gesu resources and a clear sense of purpose over time. look at what space exploration has brought to america. the technology and products in space science, earth science, fundamental air knocks research and education have spurred tens of billions economic activity dollars and hundreds of thousands of productive jobs. the use of satellites that can guide a missile into a window from three miles away has
drastically lowered collateral damage and saved countless lives in conflicts and wars. we have all heard the words of president john kennedy when he spoke in 1962 at rice university. for the eyes of the world now look into space, to the moon and to the planets beyond. and we have vowed that we shall not see it governed by a hostile flag of conquest but by a banner of freedom and peace. the president set america on the course to achieve his vision. the men here today soared into a dark sky and described from afar what they saw. in the process, they contributed to a better world here on earth. they assured america would lead the way.
we owe it to them and to our nation not to abdicate our nation's role as the leader in space exploration. what they began, we are summoned to continue. thank you. >> ladies and gentlemen, the administrator of the national aeronautics and space administration, mr. charles bolden jr. >> mr. speaker, mr. reid, mr. mcconnell, ms. pelosi, members of congress and honored guests, as we embark upon a next chapter of human space exploration, we stand on the shoulders of the extraordinary men we recognize here today. those that had the privilege to fly in space follow the trail they forged.
america's leadership in space and the confidence we can go farther into the unknown and achieve great things as a people rests on the achievements of these men. when 50 years ago this year president kennedy challenged the nation to reach the moon, to take longer strides toward a great new american enterprise, these men were the human face of these words. from mercury and gemny, on through their actions unfolded the will of a nation for the greater achievement of humankind. we are challenged to reach for new heights and plan an ambitious mission to mars. as we called on the four individuals we honor today to carry out our early achievements in space, we now call on a new generation of explorers to go where we have never gone before. as we honor these heroes, i want
to recognize the hundreds of thousands of dedicated nasa employees and industry the incredible success of the mercury, gemny and apollo programs and all that have followed and all that is yet to come. i also want to thank congress. our nation is a better place because of more than a half century of strong, bipartisan support for nasa's work. five members of the most recent class of 2009 are with us today to pay tribute to the congressional gold medal honorees and build on their accomplishments to make similar lasting contributions to our nation's space program. this new group of astronauts stands on the shoulders of the giants we recognize and honor here today, and they will redefine space exploration in the years to come and continue to honor the legacy of john
glenn, neil armstrong, buzz aldrin and michael collins. it's a lasting legacy. a legacy that continues to transform our modern world. the inspiration they provided to generations isn't something we can measure, but we can feel in our hearts. as a nation, we would not be the same without them and their bravery. their sense of duty and dedication to public service. and their great skill at thinking on their feet. they changed the course of history. and helped our nation to achieve the bigger things to which our greater nature aspires. we owe them our humblest gratitude. on behalf of nasa and all astronauts past and present, i congratulate and thank each of
you, john, neil, buzz and mike, our congressional gold medal recipients today. >> ladies and gentlemen, the singer-songwriter norah jones will now sing "america the beautiful." ♪ o beautiful for spacious skies ♪ ♪ for amber waves of grain ♪ for purple mountains' majesty above the fruited plain ♪ ♪ america america
music hearted sea ♪ till souls wax fair as earth and air and music hard at sea ♪ [ applause ] >> ladies and gentlemen, the democratic leader of the house of representatives, the honorable nancy pelosi. >> good morning. today's ceremony is a celebration of the imagination and creativity. it is a tribute to america's leadership, to our legacy of exploration, our belief in
discovery, our pursuit of scientific excellence, and technological achievement. today we honor four courageous americans who represented and do still the highest hopes of a generation who inspired our nation to new heights of greatness and knowledge. who ignited the fires of evolution and rekindle the flames of scientific progress. we honor four men who embody the optimism, the energy, the spirit of the new frontier. as president john f. kennedy said more than a half century ago, the new frontier is not a set of promises. it is a set of challenges. and these astronauts not only accepted those challenges, they challenged future generations to explore new horizons, to apply
our skills, our effort, our determination to any obstacles before us. indeed, when president kennedy announced his determination to chart a new course into space, all americans and those of you who -- well, many of you may not have been born then, but for many of us who were there, learned a new word. astronaut. sailors to the stars. a sailor to the stars. in the past age of discovery, the sailors were guided by the stars. in the new age of discovery, the new frontier, these astronauts reached for the stars. as senator john glenn became the first american to orbit the earth, he paved the way for simply not just more missions into space, but for an expanded commitment to science and technology.
and he acted upon that commitment with his leadership and the united states senate where he brought honor to the congress and as he and the other recipients of the award today bring honor to this medal. michael collins piloted the command module colombia as part of apollo 11. on the 40th anniversary of that achievement, he recalled how he peered out the ship's windows at the surface of the moon and saw interested in science, math, and engineering. as neil armstrong took a leap one giant leap for mankind, americans knew we would overcome any obstacle and prevail over any challenge. as buzz aldrin walked on the moon, an entire nation saw a promise fulfilled and a challenge met. these men personified president kennedy's call to the students of rice university and the
address that launched the moon shot when he said, the vows of this nation can only be fulfilled if we are first. and, therefore, we intend to be first. our leadership in science and in industry, our hopes for peace and security, our obligation to ourselves as well as others all require us to make this effort. those of us, again, who remember the president's statement, thought it was unimaginable that we could send a man to the moon and back safely within ten years. but this -- these astronauts knew it was possible. they ensured that we were first. first to set foot on the moon, first in science and technology and the industries of innovation. first in the pursuit